ESR 1 – Adrián Costa-Boquete



Self-organized spin and density ordering of thermal atoms in cavities

The advances in laser technology allow us to control atoms in ways never thought of before. Atoms at very low temperatures get very exotic properties. They can form unprecedented states of matter, and can self-organize in lattices or other patterns. These properties and the high level of control achievable make them very useful to simulate more complex systems, and help us understand diverse phenomena in condensed matter physics. Examples include superconductivity and magnetism, in particular more exotic forms than a magnetic needle having just a north-south direction.

In my project, I explore a new scheme for magnetic ordering. We will introduce effective interactions between atoms mediated by light. The light will tell the atoms what to do and the atoms will tell the light how to propagate. Different techniques will give us images of the atomic state distribution. I will also investigate if it’s possible to build and characterize full three-dimensional structures.

During this project, I will work at the University of Strathclyde, under the supervision of Professor Thorsten Ackemann and Dr Paul Griffin. I am part of the ColOpt network, which allows me to discuss many work aspects with different colleagues. Also, I will undertake collaborations with our partners in Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique de Nice (France), Eberhard Karl Universität Tübingen (Germany), Universität des Saarlandes (Germany), ETH Zürich (Switzerland), M Squared Lasers Ltd (UK), and University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA).

The research will help understand the interaction between magnetic ordering and atomic bunching, i.e. the formation of atomic “crystals”. It can also be a good chance to fully characterize a 3D structure, and hopefully build a new scheme for quantum simulation.



My name is Adrián Costa-Boquete. I was born on 1989 in a small village called A Laracha, in A Coruña, Spain. I was always very curious about my surroundings, so it didn’t surprise anybody when, after high school, I chose to study physics at the University of Santiago de Compostela.

At the university, I took longer than expected to finish my Bachelor’s degree, because of academic and vital reasons. Then, I decided to complete my Master’s in the same university. I choose a Masters focused in Physics of Light and Radiation.

Afterwards, I started looking for PhDs in the field. Finally, in March 2018 I started my PhD, at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, under Professors Thorsten Ackemann and Paul Griffin.